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10. Republic vs.

Raneses
FACTS:
Raneses filed for an Original Registration of Land Title which was
granted upon due hearing and presentation of evidence and witnesses,
among which were several tax declaration certificates and the
testimony of the respondents mother that the land has been in the
possession of her husband since the Japanese occupation and
subsequently inherited by her son after an extrajudicial partition
among the heirs.
Laguna Lake Development Authority submitted its opposition on the
grounds that the subject parcels of land were inalienable as it was
below the 12.5 meter elevation, hence forming part of the lake bed.
The OSG filed its notice of appeal.
Raneses then filed his comment and motion arguing that the RTC
should give more credence to his evidence as it was the result of an
actual survey as opposed to the table survey of the petitioners.
Moreover, the respondent argued that the petitioner did not formally
offer its evidence, and hence, should not be admitted.
The RTC decided in favor of herein respondent. So did the CA upon
appeal.
ISSUES:
Was the evidence presented by the respondent enough to grant him
Land Registration?
HELD:

No. It bears noting that in support of his claim that the subject
properties are alienable and disposable, respondent merely presented
the Conversion- Subdivision Plan which was prepared by Engr.
Montallana with the annotation that the subject properties were inside
alienable and disposable land area [P]roj. [N]o. 27-B as per LC Map No.
2623 certified by the Bureau of Forestry on January 3, 1968 42 and the
Inter-Office
Memorandum
from
the
LLDA.
In Republic v. Dela Paz43 citing Republic v. Sarmiento,44 this Court ruled
that the notation of the surveyor-geodetic engineer on the blue print
copy of the conversion and subdivision plan approved by the
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Center,

that this survey is inside the alienable and disposable area, Project
No. 27-B. L.C. Map No. 2623, certified on January 3, 1968 by the
Bureau of Forestry, is insufficient and does not constitute
incontrovertible evidence to overcome the presumption that the land
remains
part
of
the
inalienable
public
domain.
In contrast, this Court has held that the applicant must present a
certificate of land classification status issued by the Community
Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) or the Provincial
Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) of the DENR. He
must also prove that the DENR Secretary had approved the land
classification and released the land as alienable and disposable, and
that it is within the approved area per verification through survey by
the CENRO or PENRO. Further, the applicant must present a copy of the
original classification approved by the DENR Secretary and certified as
true copy by the legal custodian of the official records. These facts
must be established by the applicant to prove that the land is alienable
and
disposable.awred
Clearly, the pieces of evidence submitted by respondent before the
RTC in this case hardly satisfy the aforementioned documentary
requirements. Given the lack of evidence that the subject properties
are alienable and disposable, it becomes unnecessary for this Court to
resolve whether the Inter-Office Memorandum should be given more
credence over the ECD Memorandum.